seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
So I've finished this vid to my satisfaction, and I think I'm going to post it. It was theoretically inspired by my mad rush of Sarah Connor Chronicles vidding for [community profile] tightpresent, but I can't figure out how I would include it in the exchange, since nobody involved in the exchange conceivably wants to receive this. It is further proof that I am a terrible human being. But it makes me laugh, and there might be two or three other people in the world with the combination of my sense of humor, my religion, and my fannishness about TSCC who will get this vid, so I made it.

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, the Maimonides, codified Jewish beliefs in the 12th century CE in a string of thirteen declarations known as the Articles of Faith. It's a strange document because it's not clear that Judaism necessarily needs articles of faith. Certainly very little in the Talmud ever suggests that there are particular beliefs that a Jew must hold. The Articles of Faith in some ways feels like a reaction to other religions more than an authentic Jewish creation. It's a credo, a set of dogmas. And even the less cynical would surely concede that Maimonides created it because there were Jews drifting away from the community who needed guidance in how to rediscover their place in the Jewish community. Each of the declarations begins with the words "Ani ma'amin be'emunah shlemah". I believe with complete faith. It's a credo, as I said.

The most famous of these statements is as follows: "Ani ma'amin b'emunah shlemah b'viat hamashiach. V'af al pi sheyit'ma'meah, im kol zeh achake lo b'chol yom sheyavo". I believe, with complete faith, in the coming of the Messiah. And even if he delays, I will wait every day for him to come.

It's the most famous because it was a martyr's song during the Holocaust, sung by Jews who knew they were about to die to proclaim that even in the face of their certain death they still believed that salvation was coming. But it wasn't always a martyr's song. In the medieval ages the more traditional Jewish martyr's song was apparently Alenu, a solemn declaration of devotion. Ani Ma'amin, the declaration of faith in the Messiah, carries both solemnity and hope. And in the early 2000s, a Modern Orthodox rock band called Blue Fringe gave it a new melody and a new groove in their cover.

That's one half of the context this vid requires. This is a hopeful rock song about the coming of the Messiah.

The other half of the context is John Connor, who has been told by those who know the future (prophets) that he will save mankind. His ill-fitting casting as the Messiah, as Jesus returned more specifically, is one of the major narratives of TSCC, and the creators loved using crosses and other contextual Christian symbolism to foreshadow this ascension. But the problem with shoehorning John into the role of Christ is that Jesus sacrifices himself to save the people. Derek tells John in one of the show's best lines, "He died for you. We all die for you." TSCC is the story of the apostles sacrificing themselves for Jesus. This compromises all the imagery of crosses in the show. The crosses we see are not prefigurations of the Christ, they're prefigurations of the show's other crucifixions- Cromartie, Charlie, and Silberman the most prominent among them. And yet Derek, Charlie, and especially Ellison still believe in the coming of the Messiah, even though he delays. They are, in the show's parlance, "religious men." And their betrayal by Jesus instead of Judas is not only their deaths and the deaths of their loved ones, but the betrayal of this core belief that John brings salvation to those who believe.

So I think the crosses are more than a little bit silly, and this is a dark comic vid laughing at that, laughing at these characters' very, very serious faith that John can save them for their sins. Using a song of Jewish dogma to do it. I'm a bad person. But seriously, some of these crucifixions are so beautifully shot that I had to use them.

Vid Title John the Messiah
fandom The Sarah Connor Chronicles
song:" Ani Ma'amin" by Blue Fringe
vidder: seekingferret
Warnings: Subtle heresy. Okay, this time it's not so subtle.
summary He died for you. We all die for you.

John the Messiah from ronarfelq on Vimeo.

password: tscc

Today is the thirtieth day of the Omer

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-25 07:52 pm (UTC)
ghost_lingering: Weaver gets down to Savannah's level and looks her in the eyes (daughters of robots)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
For oh so many reasons I find this vid and your commentary fascinating, particularly the observation that "he died for you, we all die for you" is the exact inverse of what Christians are told about Jesus' death. I'd never thought of it like that but in a weird way it describes everything that pings me as off about John Connor and his survival even if you remove it from the religious context. I know that I'm missing some (lots) of both the Jewish and Christian religious implications of this vid because neither are my faith, but there's still a lot here that I appreciate.

(Though I can't help but point out that for all his belief in a savior, Ellison survives! He's the black man that makes it to the end! But I like how you use him in this as well, even if I will cling forever to his survival in canon.)

I do have one, probably really dumb question, but are there any other lyrics in the song beyond what you've translated here? I looked on-line and I couldn't find any, but I'm also an English only speaker who often has trouble parsing lyrics her in own language so I wanted to double-check.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-26 05:52 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
We read that religious imagery very differently. All the awkward ill-fittingness about John Connor as Christ reads to me as deliberately ill-fitting, as the show asserting the falseness of that positioning. (The other characters perceive him that way, but they're wrong.) Instead, I read the show's religious imagery as very strongly positioning Cromartie/John Henry as its Christ figure.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
Plus all the stuff later when they pull John Henry's plug and then he reboots: "why have you forsaken me," body postures, etc.

Narratively, you can't very well knock down a thesis without setting it up first. And there's a thread throughout the franchise that stories create reality: John and Sarah are who they are largely because of a story that Kyle Reese told. Enough people believing that John is Christ will make him a Christ figure, up to and including the creation of martyrs and a church. Plus, the show loves its narrative sleights-of-hand, where you think people are performing one role in the story, and then it turns out they're performing another.

But by the end of S2, I'm seeing John Connor as John the Baptist to John Henry's Jesus.


seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

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